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Government needs to guarantee TPK Ora for Whanau Ora success

20 December 2013

Government needs to guarantee “TPK Ora” to ensure Whanau Ora success

Independent MP Brendan Horan is calling on the Government to guarantee that Te Puni Kokiri is not being set up to fail, and that the Ministry will be in good health to deliver for New Zealanders.

He was commenting following the release of figures showing that Te Puni Kokiri is significantly understaffed and relying on huge numbers of contactors and consultants to deliver on core functions.

“The messages I am getting from the community is that Te Puni Kokiri is suffering very high attrition rates because there is a widespread lack of faith in its direction.

“There are now massive gaps in capability within TPK, rendering it effectively dysfunctional. It would appear a large part of their HR and communications functions have been outsourced – these are critical to the health and viability of an organisation.

“Most of TPK’s report writing and policy advice would also appear to be in the hands of consultants. So exactly what is TPK doing?,” asked Brendan Horan.

“Why are so many senior managers only acting in their roles? Why have key senior management roles been left vacant for so long? That’s difficult for any organisation and in this case it makes the job of the new Chief Executive even harder.

“One can only guess as to why the Government is overseeing and constraining CEO Michelle Hippolite, but it suggests to me they are happy to see TPK implode. Ms Hippolite has been left with no ability to lead effectively. National’s agenda has always been to see the end of the organisation.

“The key problem is that more is being spent on consultants than on delivery. For example, more is being spent on advice on how to set up Whanau Ora than on the programme itself. How can Akroyd Research and Evaluation justify the $2.65m they have received for Whanau Ora Action Research, and how many whanau have been helped by that expenditure?

“New Zealanders are very good at reading between the lines and can see clear signals in the list of the 130+ businesses and individuals receiving many millions from Te Puni Koriri.

“New Zealanders should be very concerned about this and calling for this Government to explain why it has allowed this situation to develop and what it will do to staunch the bleeding and return te Puni Kokiri to good health,” said Brendan Horan.

ENDS

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